Will expats in Paris pee in public

Published:  14 Aug at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: Australia
Doing everything the French way is the norm for many long-term expats living and working in Paris, but a recent addition to the city’s street scene may prove a step too far.

For Parisian men and maybe a few expats, peeing discreetly in the street is the normal thing to do, although it’s illegal and can result in a hefty fine if caught. However, recent moves by the city fathers are causing even more controversy as well as amazement within the city’s population including its expat community. The installation of several eco-friendly streetside urinals might have been made more welcome had they not been totally unscreened and open to all passers by, and siting one close to one of Paris’s most-loved buildings, Notre Dame Cathedral, was seen as a huge mistake.

Last year, well over 5,000 Parisians were fined for urinating in public, annoying tourists and expats alike as well as causing concern about the obvious lack of hygiene linked to the time-honoured practice. The introduction of a 3,200-strong force of ‘civility police’ forced a crackdown on men who simply couldn’t wait, but didn’t solve the problem. Nor did the anti-urine paint which ricocheted a spray of urine onto offenders’ shoes, and strategically-placed mirrors were also declared a failure. The experimental installation of the ‘pee stations’ was clearly a last resort, with their creators telling the media they allowed needy males to ‘piss in peace’.

The eco-friendly ‘piss points’ are prettified by potted plants and painted gaudy red for easy identification by the desperate. Known as ‘uritrottoirs’, they’re allegedly odour-free and dry, using easily-composted straw to absorb the liquid. The only thing they don’t offer is privacy, especially as one is located on the banks of the Seine in full view of river boats crammed with tourists. According to City Hall, the installations are in a trial phase, but local residents are outraged as much by their design as by their locations. However, the most vociferous criticisms are coming from women, who obviously do need far more privacy in order to pee in the street.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive